Ganjam Aashray Yojana: Response and Recovery from Cyclone Phailin

The need
In the late evening hours of 12th October, 2013, Odisha was hit by a severe cyclonic storm. The category 5 Cyclone Phailin with wind speeds of over 200 kms per hour destroyed everything in its path. 6 out of 30 districts in Odisha were severely affected and thousands were left homeless. Ganjam was in the eye of the storm.

How we helped
Immediate relief
1000 families were immediately reached with survival kits, based on needs that emerged from the community themselves. The kits included tarpaulins, mosquito nets, floor mats, blankets and plastic ropes. Water purification kits were also installed in 25 villages.

Housing Recovery
The majority of the devasted homes were thatched huts belonging to marginalised families. The recovery programme facilitated shelter rebuilding in 11 villages across 4 blocks of Ganjam district. It helped 300 families get back their home – constructing 50 houses and helping repair another 250 houses.

To make the houses both affordable and acceptable, the shelter was designed using local materials (including bamboo) and technology. However, this was strengthened to better withstand the major threats of floods and cyclones. Enhanced features included tin-can concrete foundations, raised plinths, enhanced tying techniques for the roof, diagonal bracing and 4-way slopes.

Elements of livelihood and capacity building were also integrated. Hands- on carpentry and masonry training allowed for skill enhancement for 100 people. Cash-for-work components helped project benefits extend to the broader community. Overall, 13,720 man days were created at Rs.164 daily. It was used mainly for the painting, planting around the house and levelling of floors.

The entire initiative was executed through an owner driven process; implemented and monitored through village development committees set up in each of the eleven villages.

Learn more about this initiative